If the only way you can imagine getting faster in Microsoft Office is to learn to copy and paste quicker or to reuse old files and save them under new names, help is on the way.
Finding and using templates
If you routinely prepare contracts by using a previous contract as a template, you can relate to the embarrassment of accidentally forgetting to change the name of the company or product in one part of the document, while changing it elsewhere. OOPS! Worse, have you ever sent a cover letter to a prospective employer addressed to one person but with the previous person's name in the salutation? Ouch!
You can avoid that pain by using Microsoft Word templates. The time investment will pay off when you can churn out a new document in a couple of clicks rather than a couple of hours and with the correct information!
Why reinvent the wheel? Any time you stare at a blank page and ask yourself, "Now how did I do that last time?" you've missed an opportunity to use Microsoft Office's greatest tools: templates. Learn how to maximize your time by using Templates and Forms...
Finding templates is easier than you think. Word offers some of the best templates right at your fingertips. In Office 2007, you access templates from the New Document dialog box (Office Button, New).
In Office 2010, click on the File tab and select New. Local template collections and online categories will appear in the main part of the Back Stage view (2010) or in a selectable list on the left (2007).
A professional or trade organization may offer downloadable templates, free or at a nominal fee. Also, you can find reputable websites, other than Microsoft Office Online, that provide templates. Check with certified and/or licensed professionals before deploying any templates to ascertain their suitability for a specific business or legal purpose. If you find templates that look good, but you aren't sure about the website, search for information about the company or organization to see if there have been problems with viruses or usability.
If the only way you can imagine improving your Microsoft Office skills and working faster is to copy and paste quicker ... or reuse old files and save them under new names (warts and all), help is on the way with the latest in our Office Tech Series, Microsoft Office Templates and Forms: Repeating Success in MS Word & Excel.
In this fast-paced 75-minute video, Microsoft® Certified Trainer Melissa Esquibel will show you how to find templates, how to create your own templates, how to make forms in Word and Excel, and what to do with the data once you've collected it. Watch a 2-minute clip here!
Creating custom templates
Another option is to create your own custom templates. For example, you may have reports, forms or letters in Word that are suitable or a premade template that's almost perfect.
In Office 2007 or 2010, click the Office Button and choose the Save As option. Be sure to select a template file type in the Save As type field. In Word 2010, you have a second choice if you choose Save and Send rather than Save As from the Back Stage view menu. When you select Save and Send, you'll see an option called Change File Type. Choose this option and click on the Template button on the right side. Save it in the Trusted Templates folder. If it doesn't automatically navigate there, you should find a shortcut or favorites selection labeled Templates or Trusted Templates.
Templates and Forms in Word and Excel
Whether you find the treasure trove of templates on Office Online, purchase them from reputable sources or create your own, templates are a great way to use work that has already been done without tediously saving copies or copying and pasting.
Forms allow you to gather data and transform it so you can aggregate and analyze it. Knowing how to use forms and form fields can let you multi-purpose your data to avoid retyping or copying and pasting.
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